When apple season rolls around, one of my family’s favorite dishes is homemade applesauce. It doesn’t last long around here and everyone agrees it’s better than store-bought. Applesauce is easy to make, tastes great, loved by kids, and a healthy addition to any meal or snack. Apples are a good source of fiber and low in calories, sodium, and fat.
There are hundreds of varieties available: crisp, soft, sweet, tart, large, small, red, green, and even golden. Which ever apple you choose you can’t go wrong. You can use a mix of apple varieties in your sauce for an even better flavor – in my opinion. If you like it with just one variety, that’s awesome too!
For this recipe I use peeled apples since we like chunky applesauce and I don’t run it through a food mill. My family likes it better and I think it’s easier to make. If you like smooth applesauce you can easily blend it all together in a food processor after it’s cooked. We like to eat it chilled, after the flavors have melded together a bit, but it’s good warm too. This recipe makes about 4 c., which fed my crew of six with no leftovers.
This is a perfect recipe to get your kids involved and teach them some cooking skills. Younger children can help wash apples or mash the cooked apples. Older children can learn how to handle sharp knives and help with cutting and peeling. It’s an opportunity to encourage an interest in cooking real food. You’ll also get in some good conversation and bonding time with your child. That’s a definite plus!
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How to Make Applesauce
- 3 lb. apples about 10 apples
- 1/2 c. water
- 1/2 c. apple cider unsweetened
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. sugar if desired
- Wash apples. Remove the core and peeling, then cut apples into quarters. Hint: for easier peeling you can try using a potato peeler.
- Place cut apples in a bowl filled with water and a little lemon juice. This will help prevent the apples from browning while you prep them.
- Drain the apples and move them to a large pan. Add water and apple cider. Bring to a boil using medium-high heat and stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for another 20 minutes or until apples are easily mashed with a fork. Be sure to check occasionally and stir to prevent scorching.
- Remove from heat. Mash with a potato masher. Taste and add 1/2 tsp. cinnamon if desired. If you would like it a little sweeter you can add 1 Tbsp. of sugar at this time and then cook for 1-2 minutes more at medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat. Serve warm or chilled.
How do you like your applesauce – chunky or smooth? Do your kids help you in the kitchen? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.